Aim sees listing drought as oil rout continues

Adam Hignett
GENERAL Election jitters and crumbling commodity prices led to a slump in new listings on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) during the first quarter, according to UHY Hacker Young.

In a study released today, the accountancy firm said the Aim had seen just 10 initial public offerings (IPO) in the three months to the end of March, raising £85m. This comp­ares with 18 in the same period last year.

The decline is even more stark when compared with the final quarter of 2014, which saw an 87 per cent drop in the amount raised, down from £657m after 27 companies listed on the market.

UHY Hacker Young said the sharp decline has in part been driven by businesses putting off a decision to list on the Aim until after the General Election. In addition it pointed to weak investor interest in the resources sector, which is a big constituent of the Aim.

Only one commodities-focused company, Ironridge Resources, chose to list last quarter, compared with an average of three to four each quarter since 2013. Furthermore, the number of companies choosing to delist leapt from 19 in the previous quarter to 27, resulting in the highest net loss of companies since 2012. The majority exiting focused on oil and mining.